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Iraq (Arms Component Exports)

Volume 171: debated on Tuesday 1 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what was the Government's shareholding via British Steel in Sheffield Forgemasters when the order for the Iraqi gun was first placed with Forgemasters;

(2) on what date his Department first became aware that the Iraqi export order was for military equipment;

(3) whether any inquiries were made to the Export Credits Guarantee Department in respect of the Iraqi gun export order.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what shareholdings nationalised industries have held in the companies presently under investigation by the Customs and Excise Department for exporting pipework and ancillary equipment to Iraq with potential military uses; and if he will set out (a) when such shareholdings were taken up and (b) when they were divested, in each case.

In the light of the criminal charges laid against an individual on Wednesday 25 April and in the light of the continuing investigations by Customs and Excise, it would be inappropriate to give any further information on these matters.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the dates when the hon. Member for Bromsgrove (Sir H. Miller) contacted his Department regarding export orders for Iraq; what was the subject of the hon. Member's representation on behalf of Walter Somers; and if he will also state the response of his Department.

[holding answer 23 April 1990]: In the light of the criminal charges laid against an individual on Wednesday 25 April and in the light of the continuing investigations by Customs and Excise, it would be inappropriate to give any further information on these matters.